Softball weekend marked by two wins over top-ranked Young-Harris

HICKORY — The Lees-McRae College softball team picked up arguably the biggest win in the history of the program on Feb. 29 as it knocked off the No. 1 team in the nation in Young Harris by a score of 9-1 in five innings. The Bobcats, who dropped an 11-7 decision to No. 20 Lenoir-Rhyne earlier in the day, moved to 5-5 on the season with the split.

Lenoir-Rhyne Recap – Lenoir-Rhyne came out swinging against the Bobcats in the team’s first game of the day. The Bears scored in every inning but the third and totaled 11 runs on 15 hits. The Bobcats managed to put some runs on the scoreboard as well but it wasn’t enough as the Bears topped Lees-McRae in the contest, 11-7.

The Bobcats racked up 11 hits against the Lenoir-Rhyne pitching staff in the contest. Hannah Foster went 3-for-4 with two RBI to pace these efforts. Addyson Ikard and McKinley Johnson each had two-hit efforts to help the cause.

Junior Cassidy Largen took the loss in the circle for Lees-McRae dropping her record to 2-3. Largen tossed 4.1 innings allowing 10 runs (nine earned) on 13 hits. Katelyn Wyatt pitched the final 1.2 innings for Lees-McRae and allowed one run (not earned) on two hits during her limited time in the circle.

Young Harris Recap – The Bobcats struck first against the top team in the country, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first. Lees-McRae’s bats would remain quiet until they exploded for six runs in the bottom of the fifth to force the end of the contest via the run rule giving the Bobcats the historic 9-1 victory.

Every Bobcat that played in the contest had a key part in the historic win either by recording a hit, driving in or scoring a run. Faith Cooke went 2-for-3 with two runs scored. The tandem of Cora Detter and Julie Gast each went 2-for-3 with Gast driving in a pair of runs. Ikard and Katie Robinson also knocked in two runs in the victory as well.

Charlsy Traylor held the top team in the country in check with easily her best start in a Bobcat uniform to date. Traylor pitched all five innings allowing just one (not earned) run on four hits to go along with three strikeouts. Traylor’s win boosts her record to 3-2 on the 2020 campaign.

The following day, the Bobcats defeated Young Harris by a score of 7-4. Lees-McRae, which dropped its second game of the day to No. 20 Lenoir-Rhyne by a score of 15-2, moved to 6-6 on the season with the split.

Young Harris Recap — Riding the momentum of the previous day’s exciting win over the Mountain Lions, the Bobcats kept it rolling in the top of the first to begin the matchup. Faith Cooke got the scoring started with a RBI double followed by a two-run home run from Addyson Ikard and a RBI double by Mallory Myers put the Bobcats up 4-0 before Young Harris had a chance offensively.

Caitlyn Ray would connect on a solo home run in the second to add to the Bobcat lead and Katie Robinson plated two with a single in the third to help the cause as well. The seven runs proved to be enough for the Bobcats as they went on to win the game, 7-4, and in doing so downed the No. 1 team in the nation for the second straight day.

Traylor, who was the winning pitcher for the Bobcats in its earlier win over Young Harris, turned in another stellar outing for Lees-McRae, throwing all seven innings allowing four runs on eight hits with a pair of strikeouts. The win boosts Traylor’s record to 4-2 on the 2020 campaign.

Lenoir-Rhyne Recap – Lenoir-Rhyne did not waste any time on jumping on the Bobcats early in the latter’s second game of the day. The Bears scored 10 times on six hits in the first inning alone to stake themselves to an early lead. Lenoir-Rhyne tacked on five more runs over the course of the game before completing the win in five innings over the Bobcats, 15-2.

The Bobcat offense was limited to just two runs on three hits in the contest against Lenoir-Rhyne. All three hits for Lees-McRae came from its starting outfield in Cora Detter, McKinley Johnson and Sarah Beth Thomas. Ray accounted for the lone run batted in for the Bobcats against the Bears.

Katelyn Wyatt, who made her first career start in the circle for Lees-McRae, was the losing pitcher in the contest after allowing six runs on three hits and two walks without retiring a batter. Cassidy Largen pitched four innings of relief for the Bobcats, and she allowed nine runs on 11 hits in her first relief outing of the season.

The Bobcats will be back in action with another two-day tournament on Saturday and Sunday, March 7 and 8. This tournament will take place in Charlotte, and Lees-McRae will take on Frostburg State and host Queens University of Charlotte twice in the tournament.

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